Iraq, UAE sign contract to build 5 solar power stations

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BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq has signed a contract with a United Arab Emirates-based renewable energy developer to build five solar power plants in the oil-rich country with a chronic energy problem, the company said Thursday.

The signing took place in Baghdad Wednesday between Iraqi officials and the chief executive officer of Masdar, in the presence of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi. The agreement calls for the plants – with a combined capacity of 1,000 megawatts – would be developed in the provinces of Dhi Qar in southern Iraq, Ramadi in central Iraq, Mosul in the north and Amarah in the southeast, Masdar said.

“This step is the first practical stage taken by the (Iraqi) government to rely on alternative, clean and renewable energies in the production of electrical energy, and to meet Iraq’s energy needs,” an Iraqi statement posted on the state-run news agency INA said late Wednesday.

Iraq hopes the agreement would help mitigate its energy supply gap. The country is a major oil producer with plentiful energy resources, but Iraq suffers daily power outages across the country due to rampant corruption, an aging grid and other technical issues.

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